Upset locals believe Taste of the Danforth will return next year

“It must have been a very difficult decision for them to turn off the plug,” local bar owner.

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The removal of Taste of the Danforth from the city’s festival menu is disappointing for many locals and businessmen, who are now looking forward to its return next year.

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“The 11-hour decision to close the festival was probably very difficult for them because they will end up having to restructure the entire festival,” said Erin Gamelin, owner of Louis Cifer Brew Works.

The popular event was delayed due to difficulties rebuilding the festival around outdoor patios, garden plants, bike paths and providing safe passage for emergency vehicles.

The City conducted a survey of businesses and CafeTO members about whether they are willing to temporarily lose their sidewalks and curb yards, which helped them survive the pandemic.

“(The answer was) no business owner who uses CafeTO wants to lose their patio space for five to ten days,” Gamelin said.

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The Greek city in the Danforth Business Improvement District said the lack of time to make changes to the street forced them to put in the effort.

“The short time frame available to adapt the event to changes on the street meant that Taste of the Danforth in 2022 was at too great a risk of not being as successful as it had been in the past,” the statement said.

“There just wasn’t time to present Taste of the Danforth in 2022 given the changes in the street landscape. So now we’re going to take the time to work hand in hand with the city and all of our partners to deliver the best taste of Danforth in 2023.”

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Within weeks, city council member Paula Fletcher said the city was working with the BIA to try to bring the festival back for the first time since August 2019.

“I am confident that when Taste returns to Danforth it will be worth the wait,” she said in a statement. “This summer, I will be celebrating the vibrant business community and street vibe at GreekTown with their 32 CafeTO patios and live music outside.”

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The weekend street festival usually attracts around 1.6 million people each August.

Despite all the changes and disruptions over the past two years, Gamelin is confident that he will return.

“We all had to learn to change, to restructure, to reinvent ourselves in all of this,” she said. “One hundred percent. I have every confidence that he will be back next year. It will look a little different, but we’ll figure it out.”
Twitter: @_ScottLaurie

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